Get Angry

You can allow yourself to get angry without turning into the Hulk. Whether you struggle with anger problems or not, learning how to properly negotiate your anger and use it to your advantage is important to physical and mental well-being. Learn to understand and process your anger into a positive force in your life.


Getting Angry in Positive Ways

  1. Focus on the things that you usually let slide. If you want to get angry to get motivated and learn to use your anger for positive change in your life, it's important to go about it the right way. The easiest way to make yourself angry? Sweat the small stuff.
    • Your boss usually slams you with work last minute, just as you're about to head off shift? If you usually grin and bear it, let some anger creep in.
    • Your partner sometimes keeps you frozen out, being uncommunicative and cold? Don't sweep it under the rug and make excuses. Get angry.
    • Your friend talks about your other friends behind their backs, constantly tattling and spreading gossip? Don't ignore bad behavior like this.
  2. Always take it personally. The next time someone starts a sentence with, "Don't take this personally, but..." all you've got to do is refuse. Assume everything is a personal slight, or has an ulterior motive behind it, to let yourself get motivated.
    • Don't just look at words, look at actions. If someone talks over you constantly, or forgets your name, or decides to ignore you for some reason, assume ill intent.
  3. Focus on your own disadvantages. If you want to project your anger outward, one way of motivation yourself can be to blame circumstances. If you grew up in a working class home, use that to explain your inability to get ahead, and let it motivate yourself to work harder than those who grew up with silver spoon in mouth.
    • Also, stay focused on other people's advantages in the world. If someone went to a college you'd never be able to afford, use that to explain their success, instead of their skill. Stay focused on what other people have that you do not have.
  4. Focus on injustice you see in the world. Sometimes all you've got to do to get furious is to pay attention to what's happening around you. Pick up the newspaper, turn on the radio, and stay focused on stories on injustice in the world. It's all around you.
    • Cue up an investigative documentary online for a quick fix of global fury. Some classics include "The Act of Killing" or "Thin Blue Line."
  5. Stop making excuses for angry outbursts. You can't always control the situations that make you angry, all of the time, but you do have power of how you choose to express your anger. Anger is something you can bring out in yourself, and learn to control, and you can start doing it today. Don't cop out and believe that your anger is beyond your ability to control it, or that you can't use anger.

Managing Your Anger

  1. Look at your anger as a tool you can use. Anger is like water. Properly harnessed, you can use it for great power and energy, channeling it to propel turbines and create electricity that keeps a whole town running. Uncontrolled, it creates tidal waves that destroys that same town. Learn to build up your anger dams properly, and you can use that anger for good, constructive purposes, not to lay waste to tiny villages.
  2. Set manageable goals for your anger. Anger doesn't have to be an all or nothing proposition. You need to adopt a manageable series of goals for yourself to get things under control, but use that anger in a product way. Never attempt to stop getting angry. Don't choose to control your anger, choose to control the way your anger manifests itself.
    • If you're a yeller, make the goal of not raising your voice when you feel angry. Learn to communicate without shouting as a goal.
    • If you bottle up your anger and suddenly release it at seemingly little things, make your goal processing the things that make you angry before they turn into rage somewhere down the road.
    • However your anger manifests itself, the most unhealthy thing that you can do is become violent with yourself or with others. Under no circumstances should you allow yourself to punch things, break things, or hit anyone.
  3. Identify your biggest anger triggers. What is it that sets you off? Try to identify and anticipate the situations, places, and people who get your anger boiling, so you can learn to prepare to address your anger when it arises, and channel that anger into its most productive uses.
    • Dig slightly below the surface. If you say that "your boss" sometimes makes you angry, try an think about when, where, and why that's the case. What does your boss emphasize that makes you feel angry? Try to understand what happens.
    • Be as honest as possible. If you're feeling angry because you're embarrassed that your boss called you out in front of the other employees, was it warranted? Did you screw up and deserve it, or was it totally out of the blue?
  4. Set anger speed limits and recognize your limits. Psychologist John Riskind suggests that the most dangerous element of anger is the feeling that it's speeding up and quickly moving out of our control.[1] This feeling often makes people do things that might seem helpful in the immediate sense, like yelling at the person who cut you off in traffic, but which have a longer-lasting consequence, of embarrassing your partner, threatening a stranger, and raising your blood pressure. He assigns the values accordingly:
    • 90 miles per hour and above: boiling, explosive, violent
    • 70-85: fuming, outraged, infuriated, enraged 

    • 50-65 miles per hour
: bitter, indignant
, pissed off
, mad, angry

    • 30-45
: agitated, perturbed
, annoyed, irritated, frustrated
    • Below 30: calm and cool, peaceful, tranquil
  5. Snap a rubber band around your wrist to keep it in change. It's important to abruptly snap yourself to attention to avoid a violent outburst and recollect your thoughts. For a lot of people, if you're getting into the {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}} + territory on a regular basis, a little pain reminder can be extremely helpful. Put a rubber band around your wrist and snap it every time you feel yourself becoming angry enough to boil over. Let the little pain reminder center your thoughts and focus. You're bigger than your anger.[2]
    • When your anger gets above the normal speed limits, you're going to need progressively more time to decompress and process that anger. Learn to assign a value to your anger, then prepare to process it, and start doing so immediately.
  6. Leave the situation for the moment, if necessary. In some cases, the best way to start processing your anger in the moment is just to leave the room, leave the house, leave the office, and give yourself a chance to decompress for a minute. If anyone looks up, curious about what you're doing, say something outlaid, which can help to reinforce what you're doing to yourself, as well as everyone else. Say something like:
    • "I'm fine, I just need to get some air."
    • "I'm going for a walk, I'm ok, I'll be right back."
    • "I'm a little frustrated, so I'm going to go outside for a minute. Everything's fine."
  7. Breathe. It's a cliché for a reason. Deep breathing is proven to reduce stress hormones and calm you down more quickly than anything else.[3] Close your eyes and take five deep breaths, holding it for five seconds, then releasing it slowly.
    • This might seem corny, but visualize your anger as a black, goopy substance that you breathe out every time you exhale. As you hold your breath, feel it building up and feel the relief as you let it move out of your body.
  8. Address the issue calmly, if you can. It's important to not avoid the things that make you angry, but control your outburst response and return to address things in a calm and collected way. If you've slowed down to a more manageable speed limit, you'll be able to do that.
    • Head back into the meeting and tell your boss privately why you felt singled out unfairly. Ask what you can do to avoid this situation next time. Use a calm, even tone.

Channeling Your Anger Elsewhere

  1. Use your anger to make positive shifts. Anger can be a powerful motivational tool. Michael Jordan used to tack up trash talking quotes from other players in his locker and use it as motivation, which fueled six NBA championships and numerous other accolades. Instead of letting your anger bubble over and break a dish in your kitchen, use it to get things done.[4]
    • If you get angry that another employee constantly gets complimented while you are ignored, put that angry energy into doing more and better work next week. Do so much work you'll have to get noticed.
    • If you get angry at something more difficult to identify or understand, like feelings of frustration with your relationship, you'll need to focus on communicating your feelings and discussing them with the parties involved. It might take making a big change, like breaking up, if you feel like you're in an unchangeable situation.
  2. Get to work. The best way to deal with anger is to get busy with whatever work it is you've got to do. Productive things you can do instead of letting anger drive you into an unproductive mud hole:
    • Clean the kitchen
    • Organize your garage
    • Do homework
    • Bake something delicious
    • Hit the heavy bag at the gym
    • Write
  3. Let yourself be emotional periodically. Remember that it's never wrong to feel anger, it's only wrong to allow your anger to overwhelm your sensibilities and force you to do things you know are wrong, or are inappropriate. The feeling that your anger is wrong will often force angry people to bottle up the rage and make it worse down the line.
  4. Get physical. Aside from offering an excellent distraction from whatever it is that's making you angry, getting some exercise can be an excellent way of processing anger and ridding your body of stress, upping the production of endorphins that will relax you in the long run.[5] It's difficult to feel angry too long when you're too busy sweating to care. Do something that will keep you moving:
    • Play basketball
    • Try boxing
    • Go jogging
    • Try circuit training
  5. Avoid self-destructive anger management. While it may seem like smoking a cigarette or taking a shot of whiskey might be a good anger-reliever, depending on self-destructive externals to help you get through your angry patches won't serve you in the long term. Not to mention the fact that alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs actually increase and amplify the physical effects of anger, like blood pressure and heart disease.
  6. Understand how anger affects your physical and emotional health. Everyone gets angry. Properly managed, anger is a motivational tool and a perfectly normal emotion. But for a lot of people, that anger can quickly spiral out of control, which can be harmful to your physical and emotional well being.
    • High levels of stress and anger come with higher rates of heart disease, cholesterol levels, diabetes, immune system problems, insomnia, and high blood pressure.
    • People who suffer from frequent outbursts of anger often report clouded thinking, difficulty concentrating, and higher instances of depression.


  • Avoid breaking things, as you may regret it very much after you have calmed down.
  • Most people scream outside so they wouldn't disturb anybody.


  • Do not get too angry, or you'll hurt or burst a blood vessel.
  • Don't get mad at anyone. Just go in your room and shout.

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Sources and Citations

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